Skincare 101: Sheet Masks
Sheet masks are becoming the most widely adapted beauty regime today. The trend originated from South Korea, where women and men of all ages pay particular attention to caring for their skin. Sheet masks are convenient, effective, and cheap - which is why for many, sheet masks are a regular feature of their skincare routine.
These masks are no-fuss sheets of magic and pampering that you can wear, chill back with for a bit for an episode on Netflix, and toss.
What are sheet masks?
Sheet masks generally work to hydrate, balance, moisturize, soothe, and brighten your skin. They are packed with concentrated essences that calm your skin and give it a quick and satisfying boost.
How do sheet masks work?
Sheet masks are single use masks with holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth. They are typically made from microfiber, cotton wool, coconut pulp, or other similar fiber-based materials that vary in thickness. Recently, hydrogel is gaining popularity as an innovative new material featured in several skincare brands.
The material of the mask will lock in the moisture and will allow your skin to effectively absorb as much essence as possible in a short period of time, normally around 15-20 minutes.
There is a sheet mask for every skin type and skin condition: masks to brighten dull skin, manage breakouts, masks that moisturise and hydrate dry skin – all depending on the ingredients they contain. (The star ingredient is commonly featured in the packaging for easy picking!)
Imagine sheet masks as a targeted skin care treatment. Choose one that can address what your skin needs at that moment, sit back, and reap the benefits instantly.
What are the benefits of sheet masks?
- Sheet masks hydrate and alleviate dryness. Particularly good for when your skin feels dehydrated.
- Sheet masks are super-boosted moisturisers. You only need a light moisturiser after use, helping avoid clogging the pores.
- They help improve skin quality, especially with regular use. A wide variety of sheet masks have different materials and ingredients that address different skin concerns.
- Most people can agree that using a sheet mask has positive psychological effects. It's the perfect #MeTime companion, allowing you to calm down, and relax and recharge after a long, stressful and tiring day.
- Sheet mask are hassle-free and very easy to use. You just need to apply it, sit back for 20 minutes, and chuck it. No need for post-mask cleanup compared to when you use traditional wash-off masks.
- And a personal favorite: Sheet masks will not break your purse. They're cheap enough so you can have fun and experiment on different types of sheet masks and a variety of ingredients, especially if you can't spend too much on a bottle of serum. They are also definitely cheaper than spa treatments - but with comparable benefits!
How do you use sheet masks?
Sheet masks are very to use. Unfold the sheet mask and place it on your face aligning the holes to your eyes, nose, and mouth. Leave the mask for 15-20 minutes (as directed on the packaging). Afterwards, just peel it off and gently pat the remaining essence on your face. All that's left is to enjoy that supple, dewy, super hydrated skin!
They are generally one-size fits all. Start by placing the mask on your forehead and softly pat away while smoothing the mask down. They're stretchy too, so you can adjust for a perfect fit.
You can use sheet masks anytime you need a skin (and morale) boost – morning, afternoon, evening – whenever you need them, whenever convenient, it is up to you!
How often should I use a sheet mask? Is it okay to use a sheet mask everyday?
You can use sheet masks as often as you like. Using them regularly just once a week can already show great benefits for the skin. Regular use can help boost and improve your skin’s long-term hydration levels, like using a super-boosted moisturiser.
And some good news for sensitive skin types: Dermatologist recommend sheet masks as a better option for sensitive skin because of fewer preservatives, lowering the chance of irritation.
There is a growing popularity of using a sheet every day. However, dermatologists recommend daily use ONLY IF the sheet masks do not contain exfoliating acids as these are very strong and can result to over-exfoliating, which may lead to sensitivity and irritation.
For acne-prone skin types, dermatologists recommend to use sheet masks only once a week, as some sheet masks may have occlusives that can block the pores. A constant moist environment may also cause bacterial growth that can aggravate existing acne.
Which sheet mask is best for my skin?
Here is our guide to choosing sheet masks and what to look for depending on your skin type, goals, or skin concerns.
Oily skin / Acne-prone
Look for sheet masks that work to unclog your pores and control excess sebum. For acne-prone skin, look for sheet masks with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant ingredients like tea tree, green tea, honey, propolis and salicylic acid, willow bark to help prevent breakouts.
- Missha Air Fit Sheet Mask Tea Tree and Leaders Tea Tree Relaxing Skin Clinic Mask contain tea tree extracts that refreshingly soothe and hydrate the skin, as well as help control sebum production.
- Missha Air Fit Sheet Mask Green Tea and Farmskin Superfood for Skin Facial Sheet Mask Green Tea contain green tea that is ideal to soothe the skin, improve acne and oily skin, and regulate hydration.
Dry (and dull) skin
Choose sheet masks that have hydrating ingredients to address dry, flaky, and dull skin. Look for ingredients such as beta-glucan (this is derived from various mushrooms, plants, algaes, yeasts or oats) to soothe and restore the skin’s moisture levels; ceramides to nurture your skin; glycerin which is a natural humectant to help maintain the moisture content of dry skin; and squalene that provides an instant boost of hydration.
- Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Shea Butter contains shea butter that has excellent moisturising effects, delivering intense moisture to help form a strong the skin barrier. Perfect for dry skin types.
- Leaders Aquaringer Skin Clinic Mask contains glycerin provides intense moisture to dry skin.
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask contains 5 types of ceramide that helps strengthen weakened skin barriers, and packed full of moisturizing nutrients such as aloe vera, Panthenol, Hyaluronic acid and high concentration of other various moisturizing ingredients to add energy and moisture to dry skin.
- Jumiso Rich Nourishment Mask is formulated with exceptionally hydrating and moisturising ingredients such as argan oil, ceramides, ginseng extract and Shea butter.
- Farmskin Superfood for Skin Facial Sheet Mask - Avocado is high in essential fatty acids and vitamins to smooth and deeply moisturise dry skin.
Look for soothing ingredients such as Centella asiatica, mugwort extract, aloe, calendula, chamomile extracts, and Guaiazulene to reduce inflammation and to calm and soothe your skin.
- Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack has 48% aloe vera to soothe the skin.
- Whamisa Organic Flowers Hydrogel Mask is a moisturising and soothing mask with ingredients like mugwort, oat kernel, and Aloe Vera leaf extracts that work together to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturising, and soothing properties for the skin.
- Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Mask Pack soothes and protects irritated and blemished skin with 45% Centella asiatica.
- Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask has ingredients like willow bark and Centella asiatica extracts that decrease sensitivity and helps calm the skin and soothes irritation, and Erythritol, a low irritating and cooling ingredient, to rapidly lower the skin’s temperature and reduce irritation.
Anti-aging / Mature skin
It is never to early to address premature aging. Find sheet masks to firm and lift your skin while providing your skin’s needed hydration and moisture. Yes you guessed it right! Ingredients such as snail mucin, bee venom, collagen, adenosine, ginseng, collagen, seaweed/algae and fermented ingredients (like saccharomyces filtrate) will reduce visibility of fine lines and wrinkles and target the issues at their source to reveal brighter more youthful skin.
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask
- Whamisa Organic Real Kelp Mask Sheet Mask is a 100% real kelp sheet mask made with 32 natural and organic ingredients with nutrients and alginic acid for healthy and youthful skin.
- Missha Air Fit Sheet Mask Ginseng has red ginseng root extract that helps improve firmness and elasticity of the skin.
- Leaders Collagen Lifting Skin Renewal Mask contains water-soluble marine collagen and elastin revive the skin’s elasticity and promote healthy skin by supplying moisture.
- Leaders Wrinkle-Tox Skin Clinic Mask contains Adenosine which reduces and improves wrinkles and prevents signs of aging by supplying nutrition to the skin, and restoring and promoting collagen production, improving the skin's elasticity.
Acne scars, blemishes and pigmentation
Select sheet masks to use every night that have brightening ingredients. Look for ingredients like pearl & rice extracts, niacinamide, vitamin C, Glutathione, lemon, and yuja or yuzu that help reveal brighter skin.
- Some by Mi Yuja Niacin Blemish Care Serum Mask contains 82% pure Yuja peel oil extracted through a steam distillation method using real Yuja peel to nourish and moisturise skin. It also contains 5% Niacinamide that brightens up skin and helps to get rid of freckles and dark spots, and Glutathione & Arbutin to prevent the formation of melanin and make skin soft, fresh and dewy.
- Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Rice has rice extracts that moisturise and hydrate the skin, smooth rough skin, improve skin texture and unify skin tone, and provide radiance to dull skin.
- Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Pearl has pearl extracts that contains minerals to brighten and smooth rough and/or dull skin.
- Missha Airy Fit Sheet Mask Lemon contains lemon extracts that makes skin bright by with full of vitamin C.
- Whamisa Organic Fruits Hydrogel Mask has Yuzu, apple, kiwi, banana and tomatoes for clear and radiant complexion.
- By Wishtrend Natural Vitamin C 21.5% Enhancing Sheet Mask contains 11% Vitamin C extracted from Hippophae rhamnoides that helps with skin brightening and improves overall skin tone and texture.
See all sheet masks available in the shop: CLICK HERE
Sheet mask tips and tricks
- Use sheet masks on a clean face. Please. Wash your face before applying a sheet mask to maximise the effect and avoid clogging your pores. (Imagine applying a serum on dirty skin?)
- We recommend doing a double cleanse in the evening especially when you have makeup and sunscreen on before applying a sheet mask on your face. For ultimate results, prep your skin by using a toner so the essence from the sheet mask can penetrate and be absorbed better. (See our complete guide to toners here.)
- Do not leave the sheet mask on your face for more than 20 minutes (unless otherwise indicated in the packaging). Definitely don't go to sleep with the sheet mask on because it will eventually dry on your face and may cause irritation.
- Golden rule (and we will not get tired of repeating this!): Do not forget to use sunscreen in the daytime even after applying a sheet mask.